As the district prepares to modernize its facilities and curriculum, policy and design standards are due for updates as well. Here is what trustees discussed tonight at their monthly work session. No action was taken on any items:

  • In response to the Texas Association of School Board's latest revision to its policy manual, during tonight's meeting AISD trustees reviewed the district's own local policies and proposed revisions made by the superintendent's senior staff.The first reviewed policy was related to suspension/termination during an employee's contract period. Minor edits were suggested by the superintendent's senior staff to eliminate redundancy. Other changes were recommended by the TASB to make clear that while there are 39 listed reasons for why an employee may be fired, there may be other causes for termination.

A policy revision related to other revenues, gifts and solicitations was also reviewed by the board. Based on changes to the policy approved by trustees in December 2016, the revision recommended the addition of language defining grants, donations, bequests and donors as well as information about the grant application process.

  • The district's 2017 educational specifications, or "ed specs," are described by AISD as "design standards and concepts used by school districts to guide new school facility construction and major space renovations."With the passage of the November 2017 bond package, the district is now preparing to build several new schools and renovate many others. In its latest version of the AISD ed specs, the district seeks to embrace the concepts of modernization outlined in its recently updated Facility Master Plan.

    Some of the changes and concepts behind the latest round of ed specs include flexible learning spaces, dedicated community areas, outside learning, professional learning centers for teachers to prepare and collaborate, technology found in all spaces, libraries as media resource centers and more.

    The updated design standards will necessitate community engagement with architects and engineers, according to Beth Wilson, assistant director of the office of facilities.

    "These new ed specs are descriptive and goal-oriented; our target audience is our principals, schools and students," she said. "They will require our communities to engage with the designers of the modernized spaces so they can understand what a school would like to emphasize."